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Tuesday, 8 November 2011

High Arctic Visitor


My first seawatch of the day, a brief one because I had to go to Norwich for work today, took place off Baker's score, Corton from 8.30 to 8.50am. A reasonable sea passage included skeins of 5, 4 and 4 Brent Geese flying south. A big group of 16 Common Scoter flying south all females save for 2 males who were first and third in the line as they flew low over the sea. 1 winter- plumaged Red- throated Diver was seen fairly close in on the sea. 2 Sky Larks flew south too. Sadly, on my journey to Norwich along the Acle straight, I saw the squashed corpse of a Barn Owl at the left side of the road.
My second seawatch of the day, was during my rather late lunch break, which I took on Gorleston Pier (after returning after attending a meeting in Norwich), a dead Robin was seen by the bushes at the start of the pier, but as soon as I had reached the end at 2.15pm, I looked down on the sea and barely 20 foot out, was an excellent Little Auk. I was really delighted to see it, the first one I have seen since November 2009. A superb gem of a bird, a visitor from the high Arctic with short black stubby bill, black upperparts and white underparts. No sooner had I seen it than it flew north a little way to the sea just beneath the sea defence rocks bordering the southern side of the Great Yarmouth outer harbour, showing short stubby wings it pitched down again in the sea for several minutes before flying due east and then north when it had cleared the end of the harbour, a wonderful sight (the Little Auk, not Yarmouth harbour!)
Groups of 39 and 5 Brent Geese flew south. Several Cormorants, 4 were seen out at sea on the water and flying about.

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